Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out of My Mind

Acrylics and stenciled papers on stretched canvas, 10 x 10 inches
This is a piece I did a couple weeks ago...and I haven't been inspired to paint since then.  Part of me wants to keep trying different things, and that's the part that tends to keep me from painting at all...because I frequently feel uninspired to do whatever's next.

The part of me writing this post at this moment says, "If you paint something you like (like this piece), then do more like it and see how things evolve over time."  Think I'll start listening to that voice.

The winner of last week's stamp giveaway has been notified.  Thanks to all who entered.

This week's giveaway is another set of fountain pens.  These are both Jinhao pens from China, both medium nib.  They come with a converter, meaning you can use whatever ink you like.  If you're unsure by looking at it how to fill the converter with ink, refer to JetPens website for instructions (like the last pen giveaway winner did).

To enter the drawing, either leave me an email here, or include your email address in the body of your comment to this post.  I'll do a drawing on Wednesday November 4 and I'll email the winner directly.  

Personally I prefer the Platinum Preppy (Japanese) pens.  They just work better for my hand.  Although I suppose you could now call me a fountain pen aficionado, the truth is, I'm more interested in having a lot of different ink colors to write with than having a lot of more-expensive pens to write with.  The Preppys, as well as the Jinhaos, are at the bottom of the line, price-wise.  I admit to having more than 20 Preppys now, and more in my cart at Jet.

In addition to JetPens, I've recently been turned on to Goulet Pens.  Goulet has several more brands of ink available, in unbelievably fantastic colors.  I'm building an order for inks there.  

Okay, the Out of My Mind part:  I've discovered that a HUGE part of Buddhist practice is getting in touch with one's body.  I never imagined that that would be the case, even as I flirted with Buddhism for years before actually beginning to practice.  Practice isn't about having "peak experiences," or becoming permanently "enlightened," or becoming a saint, or, or, or...  It's about experiencing reality, the sensation of our life at this very moment.  And those sensations are happening in our bodies.

All of us, though, us humans, spend the majority of our time in our heads, and not in functional thinking either...but in self-centered stories, melodrama, opinions, judgments, fantasy conversations and arguments, defensiveness, thoughts of retribution, etc., and ad nauseum.

How interesting is this -- when we say something like, "Are you out of your mind?!", we're typically referring to something that someone has concocted with their mind, something that sounds out of the ordinary, and we say that thing as though "being out of one's mind" is a bad thing.  In reality, to not be in one's mind, to be focusing on what's going on with one's body, is a good thing.  Although good and bad are judgments and that's not the point I'm trying to get across.  It's just interesting to me that what's really so is not what we've been led to believe.  Most of what we've been led to believe about life isn't true, actually.  We have to find out for ourselves.

I bring up this whole thing about practice being focused on the body because I, like the rest of us and especially like us women, was raised to hate my body and to not trust it.  It's been a very long road for me making peace with mine, and that's only happened in the last few years.  I suspect that one of the reasons it took me to long to get to Buddhist practice is because I wanted so badly to be "out of my body."  To transcend my body, which is what a lot of folks think Buddhism is about, although in reality it's just the opposite.

A lot of words...but it's good to talk now and then.  Have a great week.  Thanks for reading.  Blessings.

7 comments:

Gill said...

I haven't tried a Preppy pen or a Jinhao pen - I'd love to try a Jinhao if this is open to internationals!

MegWeaves said...

Nah, I still want to be rid of my body...

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

I often complain that I was issued a mind without an "on/off" switch, meaning I can't stop thinking! However, whenever I am spending quality time with my cats, I'm not thinking about me... if I am taking in the beauty of nature, I am enjoying the scene and not thinking about me. Does that count?
BTW, I agree with the voice that says to paint something you like. Trying something new occasionally is a good thing, but for me the joy comes from giving myself over to the creative inspiration, not becoming proficient at using a new technique. I think we were meant to use our gifts and when we do, the joy we feel is the icing on the cake...

Cathy in gorgeous Sonoma County said...

I like the direction you're going with your paints. I want to see more!

Jan said...

I really like this painting and look forward to seeing more in this vein, or whatever you'd call it.

Your musings are spot on for me, too, in the sense that the body stuff has gone on for a long time. It's still a struggle for me when a) I see myself nekid, b) when I see a photo of myself, and c) when my body won't do what I want it to because I'm not that fit.

The rest of the time I forget about it, because the image of what I look like is in some divorced-from-reality part of my brain. I couldn't even tell you what I think I look like, it's just not what shows up in a photo. Oh well...

Thanks again for sharing--kisses, js

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like your second choice...I find it is in the 'doing' that new work shows up! Email follows this weekend!

Pamela Gerard said...

Interesting post.....and I do love fountain pens too.....I have only had cheap ones....